Posts Tagged ‘INS Sindhurakshak’

Indian Navy: The tragic, the good, the bad and the ugly

August 14, 2013

The Indian Navy’s diesel submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, experienced an explosion and fire while at port in Bombay and has sunk with 18 sailors trapped and possibly dead.

The Indian navy's Sindhurakshak submarine in Visakhapatnam earlier this year. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

The Indian navy’s Sindhurakshak submarine in Visakhapatnam earlier this year. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters

Accidents happen, everywhere but there is always the real possibility with accidents in India that institutional or individual “negligence” has a significant part to play. The negligence is often institutional in that processes and routines are lax or ill-defined or incomplete. It is not only in construction and repairs that India often exhibits the “last mile syndrome” where the last 5% of anything just does not get done!. Cost or budget considerations are a very common excuse for not making the final quality checks – whether in processes or in products.

In state owned establishments – like the Navy – institutional weaknesses can also arise because political considerations and politicians can subvert the processes. Individual negligence is not unknown and is usually a case of incompetence at some level. Not least because of the incompetence of the recruitment, training or supervision of the individuals concerned. In the Defense Services (and not just in India), seniority very often overrules competence in the making of appointments. Indian military appointments – and especially senior appointments – have been the subject of much (idiotic) litigation. Unfortunately even the Indian Courts give little importance to competence and have enshrined the appointment of the “most senior”. For fears of being accused of nepotism it is always easiest to appoint the “most senior” rather than the “most competent” or the “best suited” candidate for an appointment.

Of late the Indian Navy has been the subject of many news articles ranging from today’s tragic story to stories of achievement but also of decadence and dissolution.

All these stories are just from the last 30 days:

Navy sex scandal: wife of official arrested

A 25-year-old estranged wife of a navy officer, who rocked the Indian Navy earlier this year by accusing her husband of forcing her to get “sexually involved” with his colleagues, has been arrested by the south Delhi police on charges of cheating and fraud.

First Indian nuclear submarine set for open sea trials

India announced Saturday that its first indigenously-built nuclear submarine is ready for sea trials, a step before it becomes fully operational, and called it a “giant stride” for the nation. India unveiled the 6,000-ton INS Arihant — Destroyer of Enemies — in 2009 as part of a project to built five such vessels which would be armed with nuclear-tipped missiles and torpedoes.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was “delighted to learn that the nuclear propulsion reactor on board INS Arihant, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, has now achieved criticality”.

Indian SSBN Arihant Achieves Milestone, Govt Messes Up By Releasing Photo Of US Navy Submarine

The Indian Information & Broadcast Ministry has just released this Youtube clip which contains a single still photograph of what it wants you to believe is the INS Arihant SSBN, which reached a milestone today with its pressure water reactor finally going criticial. Well, guess what. Even on a day like this, the government didn’t mind filching a photograph of a US Navy Ohio-class submarine in an officially released video.

Indian-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant launched

India has unveiled its first home-built aircraft carrier from a shipyard in southern Kerala state. The 37,500 tonne INS Vikrant is expected to go for extensive trials in 2016 before being inducted into the navy by 2018, reports say. With this, India joins a select group of countries capable of building such a vessel.

Massive Explosion Sinks Indian Submarine At Berth, Salvage On

A huge explosion inside Indian Navy Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhurakshak late last night sunk it in its berth at the Mumbai naval dockyard, with just a tiny portion visible. A major fire spread inside the submarine post the explosion. The navy put out a statement a short while ago to say that 18 personnel were on board when the explosion ripped through the submarine, but doesn’t say yet if they’ve been rescued. Salvage and rescue operations are on right now, and have been through the night.

Launching of INS Vikrant August 12th 2013 – image Livefist

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